Animals returned safely to Ballymena pet shop

Credit: UTV

Police have returned stolen animals, including a much-loved African grey parrot called Barney to the owners of a Ballymena pet shop.

Owner Marion McAuley told UTV her family had been heartbroken by the theft of the rare bird, which he been in the store for a decade.

They believe the parrot, along with a python and other exotic creatures had been stolen to order, during the break-in at Ladysmith Pet Supplies at the weekend.

The animals were recovered after a search at a house in the Lanntara area of the Co Antrim town on Thursday morning.

Police say information shared by the public, through social media, helped investigators to track down the animals.

One man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary and handling stolen goods and Chief Inspector Simon Ball says officers will continue their efforts to ensure all those involved in the crime are convicted.

He has appealed to any witnesses or anyone with information that could be beneficial to the investigation to contact police on the number 101, quoting reference number 213 for 4/12/17.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous.